Sting, Little Mary, Message In a Bottle & The Bombshell BlondFriday, September 22, 2006
Last night I was talking to this bombshell blond who sports dramatic eyeliner at a Georgia Straight party on Granville Island. They were playing The Police's Message in a Bottle. I happened to mention that it was one of my all time favourite songs. It seems that at age 14, when BB (bombshell blond) first heard the song, she was lured away from mainstream music. Perhaps that song influenced her later sentimental decisions.
I remember the first time I ever heard that song. It was shortly after The Police album Regatta de Blanc was released in 1979. I was nursing a dry pear cider at the Number 5 Orange. The tiny 5ft tall dancer "Little Mary" had come down the lucite stairs from the ceiling dressing room to the sounds of Frank Sinatra. Little Mary looked around 16. Maybe she was 17. After the two Sinatra songs, everything was off and suddenly I heard Message in a Bottle. I kept humming it long after Mary went up the stairs. I enquired from Harry Brandolini (one of the proprietors of the joint) who Little Mary (above, left) was. It seemed that being short was a family tradition and Little Mary had a jockey brother. Little Mary, when not watched, could go through the bar's whole Grand Marnier stock in one day. I later found out that Little Mary could fill the Coliseum without a sound system. Her French was as foul as it could be. But then there was that smile and that fondness for Sinatra and The Police. Through the years I have kept in touch with Mary Arnold. When I last saw her she was designing and sewing fantastic costumes for modern dancer Cori Caulfield.
I photographed Sting for the first time in 1980. He told writer Les Wiseman and me that his band was going to be the next Beattles. We thought he was a pretentious Brit SOB. We were proven wrong.
Only hope can keep me together
Love can mend your life but
Love can break your heart
Message in a Bottle - The Police
BB, that 45rpm record on the right contains a rare live version. How about tea?